LEGISLATIVE & COMMUNITY ADVOCACY
Interfaith Alliance of Iowa Action Fund

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM

The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States clearly forbids the establishment of religion by the government. Religious freedom is a core value of our shared democracy and must always be safeguarded. All religions and individual beliefs must be treated equally and with respect.

While defending religious freedom for individuals is essential, the rights of one religion should never be used as a tool for discrimination or to justify religious exemptions that impact the rights of other people. One religion should not be given preference by the government over any other, such as the posting of sacred texts or other religious displays on public property, including public schools.

GOOD GOVERNMENT and JUDICIAL INDEPENDENCE

Iowa’s judicial merit selection and retention system of justices and judges was created with bi-partisan support in 1962. It has served our state well for more than five decades with the goal of keeping politics out of the courts and judicial independence secure. The appointment and retention of justices and judges should only be in question in cases of misconduct or malfeasance, not to forward a political or ideological agenda.

CIVIL RIGHTS, EQUALITY, and RESPONSIBILITY

Iowa’s Constitution and our civil rights law must be upheld to ensure the rights of people are protected, including those who have historically faced discrimination in employment, housing, credit, education, and public accommodations. Additionally, the voting rights of all Iowa citizens must be defended.

Women have a right to quality healthcare and to make their own health decisions without the interference of the government or religion. The state must ensure all women have access to quality healthcare and family planning services.

Immigrants come to Iowa and share our values of hard work, commitment to community, and strong families. They often face unfair discrimination and hate simply because of their race, religion, or country of origin. The state has a responsibility to guard against discrimination that targets any group of people.

Our children and communities are at risk with the increase of gun violence in our country. In the absence of leadership in Congress, the Iowa Legislature must pass commonsense public policies to increase gun safety. New legislation that harms established laws promoting gun safety and the safety of our children must be opposed.

Iowa must never reinstitute the death penalty, which discriminates based on race and poverty.

OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL

Adequate funding of public schools must be a priority of the state to ensure a world-class education for all Iowa children. Public funds should not be diverted to private choices, such as assistance to attend a non-public school, vouchers and educational savings accounts, homeschooling assistance, or school tuition organization tax credits.

Public schools have a responsibility to remain neutral regarding religion and must never promote any religious belief or practice. Comprehensive, science-based, age-appropriate sexuality education must be provided. Equality, safety, and respect for all Iowa children must be guaranteed.

Fair pay and benefits for Iowa workers, including public school teachers, staff, and administrators, must be guaranteed. The collective bargaining rights for Iowa’s public workers must be reinstated and protected. All Iowa workers must be guaranteed a livable wage. Iowa must better monitor and stop wage theft, particularly for low-wage workers. Additionally, Iowa must limit payday loans with high interest rates.